Kermit C.

Kermit C.

Kenzai Reach | Day 15 (Member)
Kenzai Reach
Day 15
 
Program progress:

Today, another beautiful day in Yokohama. Spring is here, or is it summer? Walked to the park before lunch and completed the exercises, except for the V-sit, which I did at home. For the V-sit, after all the Kenzai programs I completed, I still cannot lift my torso off the floor. It was more like the letter L sit-up. The sun is beckoning me outdoors again. Until tomorrow.


After reading today’s lesson, I paid more attention to my lower back when doing the afternoon stretches. Indeed, yes, I could feel the back stretch but with a good feeling. Each lesson brings out a little more knowledge about the skeleton inside me.
For the evening lessons, I managed to do the Salamander as far as the leg positions go, but I could not bend down to rest on my elbows. For the front split, I can place my fingertips on the floor, but I have a ways to go before I can lay them flat. I’m getting more and more comfortable with the exercises. As Tracy suggested, I am getting familiar with them, so that I can enjoy (?) them. Enjoy??????


After I read today’s lesson, I realized I had been struggling with stretching exercises rather than enjoying the moment. Relax and let go. And that’s what I did today, particularly in the evening. For the first time I was able to relax my mind and complete the evening stretching with a modicum of discomfort. And, it may be my imagination, but I believe my legs in the wide angle bend was wider and I was for a little while able to bend forward more, though toward the end I leaned on my hands. Lesson learned today: Don’t fight to get into the pose, glide in it. Well, from today I have to work on my gliding technique.


The lesson on how to breathe came in handy today. I added breathing to list of things to be mindful of that include hand and feet positions. Breathing also was helpful for the evening stretches. However, for he front leg stretch I experienced my first bit of pain. I was stretching the left leg and kneeling on the right knee. Even though I was kneeling on the carpet, I began experiencing pain in the knee. At first I took in deep breaths to try to control the pain, but I had to quit the stretch around the two minute mark. For the left knee, I placed two pillows on the floor. No pain. Just the usual discomfort in my hamstrings.
For future stretches requiring me to kneel, I will make use of pillows.


This evening’s stretches were challenging, especially those involving the legs. Both the Seated Leg Forward and the Salamander Stretch proved to be too much for me. I could not straightened out the legs or lean forward. My hamstrings are really, really tight. I’m afraid I would need more than 56 days to loosen the hamstrings enough so that I can straighten out the legs in those two poses.

To answer the question posed on Sunday, I say that a my stage in life I base my decision making on the Biblical quotation: “Do until others and they would do unto you.”


This evening’s stretches were challenging, especially those involving the legs. Both the Seated Leg Forward and the Salamander Stretch proved to be too much for me. I could not straightened out the legs or lean forward. My hamstrings are really, really tight. I’m afraid I would need more than 56 days to loosen the hamstrings enough so that I can straighten out the legs in those two poses.

To answer the question posed on Sunday, I say that a my stage in life I base my decision making on the Biblical quotation: “Do until others and they would do unto you.”


Rainy day in Yokohama, so I spent most of the days indoors working, cooking and stretching. The afternoon stretches included the Chaturanga. I managed to get to three breaths, but barely.
For the evening stretches, I decided to play songs that were about three minutes to use as my timer. For the floor lunge, I listened to Doris Day’s Secret Love for the left leg and Percey Faith rendition of Moulin Rouge for the right one. Despite the dulcet sounds, the pain in my hamstrings warned me that I could not bend down too far.
For the front split, Doris Day’s It’s Magic for the left leg and Rosemary Cloony’s Hey There for the right leg. Wow, I am really stiff. Both legs formed acute angles. I think it would take several sessions of Reach for me to Be able to do the splits.
Actually, when I say ‘pain’ I really mean ‘discomfort’. I’m going to call it a day. Good Night!


No Pain, No Gain! I kept repeating that mantra all the while I was doing the evening stretching exercises. I am definitely stiff. I cold not stretch my legs straight for both the Seated Leg Forward And Side. And for the forward bend stretch I had to place my hands behind me for the entire 8 minutes. I could only open my legs 45 degrees, and that was a struggle. I can see I have a lot of work ahead of me.


I slept in this morning — all the way to 7 a.m., which I consider to be a sleep in for an old man like me. The sun streamed through my window and I said to myself, “What a beautiful day to do old fashioned exercises in Dai Machi Park.” I thought I could complete them in no time. Wrong! The Knee Lift Lunge took me more than four sets to get the movements down. I kept losing my balance. The exercises with the stretch band were relatively easier, though I noticed my muscles began to burn in the second set, which made completing the remaining sets an exercise in endurance. And the crunch! Talk about endurance. My abs starting burning into FIRST set. Goes to show you. Kenzai, like life, is full of hidden surprises.

Regarding the first question asked in Today’s lesson, I need more time to think before answering such a profound question.


I am doing my Reach stretching in the neighborhood parks and in my tiny apartment in Yokohama, Japan. The month of May is the right month for going outside for cardio workouts and for stretching. But on those cloudy days, I convert my apartment into a gym.

I got interested in Kenzai in 2015 with the introduction of my daughter Kim, who happens to be the trainer of this program. I was terribly out of shape and my diet filled with unhealthy food choices. When even I could not stand the sight of me in the mirror, I finally signed up for Kenzai Body. The transformation was almost miraculous. A trimmer body, a positive outlook and acquisition of good dietary habits (though occasionally I overdo the beer drinking with friends).

I’m not much of a Netflix viewer. I have watched five or six films and I am currently going through the Big Bang Episodes. My entertainment comes primarily from the streaming of Old Time Radio programs such as The Lone Ranger, The Shadow and detective stories and from listening to jazz on KCSM, Radio 91. As far as podcasts are concerned, I listen regularly once a week to the podcast called Lexicon Valley. John McWhorter talks about the history and peculiarities of the English language, for example, why do some Americans pronounce ‘wash’ ‘warsh’.

Ah, well, different strokes for different folks, as they say. Looking forward to learn what kind of entertainment you enjoy.


Today’s lesson about grounding was helpful for me when doing the afternoon stretches, particularly when doing the Warrior 1 and 2 stretches. I was able to keep my balance. Only once when doing Warrior 2 did I have to hold on to the wall to keep from toppling over.
I like the stretches like the Downward Dog. They really stretch my lower back and give me a relaxed feeling in that region.
The Yoga Squat was a challenge to place my elbows inside my knees. I may have to resort to the less deep technique until I can spread my knees farther apart.
The locust stretch was difficult. I managed the movements, but I could not hold my head and legs as high as the young man in the photos. The first set was slip-shod; the second one was better, I felt.

Feeling Good!


The afternoon stretches today were a bit more daunting. This time I paid more attention to the position of my hands and feet for the stretches requiring movement. When I did the pyramid stretch I had to bend my knees a bit in order to keep my hands flat on the ground. But the stretch gave my lower back a relaxing sensation. It felt GOOD.

The chaturanga proved the most challenging. I barely reach the third breath before I collapsed on the floor.

Feeling good!


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Woke up and took my speed walk to Dai Machi Park where I regularly do my morning exercises. I completed the morning segment of the Reach exercises in full view of elementary students walking on their way to school. One benefit of exercising in the park, in addition to the fresh air, is I can enjoy the flowers blossoming in vibrant colors.

In the afternoon, I completed the first set of afternoon exercises. Wow, I never realized how stiff I had gotten. For Warriors 1 and 2, my main problem was maintaining balance, which I managed to do after two attempts. For the Downward Dog, I could keep my arms straight, but I afraid I could not straighten up my legs. I had to bend my knees slightly. Thank Goodness for my pillow. I stuffed it between my buttocks and calves for the Seiza. To think, two years ago I had no problem with the Seiza. Finally, I always enjoy the Shavasana pose and scanning through my body from toe to head. This was one of my favorite exercises in Kenzai Mind.

Looking forward to tomorrow's session. Diet on target.


Yesterday, I started off with a resolute step in the right direction. I terminated my five o'clock happy hour. Today, I cooked green vegetables and eggs for breakfast. Bye, bye bacon and sausages. In the afternoon, I walked to the market to buy apples, bananas and oranges. Slowly but surely I am gearing up for the coming days as the program becomes intensified. It feels good to be back in harness.


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This is my second time in the Reach program. I look forward to the next two months of stretching and following a regimented diet program. From the photos my friend took, I can see I am in dire need of loosening up my joints and muscles. And, oh yes, I need to get rid of that stomach of mine.


May 16th, 2016

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